Your Conversation Blueprint

Whether you’re responding to a random stranger on the street who’s asked you about your ‘Porn Kills Love’ tee, or reading comments deep in the catacombs of your favorite online video entitled “Sloths eating for 10 hours straight,” having a conversation about something as personal as porn can seem strange when you don’t know the person at all. But no worries, we’ve got your back.

Consider this your go-to guide for responding to questions, comments, and criticism about your stance on porn, whether online or in-person.

What To Do

Educate yourself.

We believe that education is empowerment, which is why it’s our mission to help raise awareness on the harmful effects of pornography. As an organization, we are non-religious and non-legislative, meaning we’re not out to ban porn. Instead, our movement is based on research! The more educated you are on the topic, the easier it will be to have this conversation. And the more you know about the issue in general, the more comfortable you’ll likely become talking about it. The people you’ll chat with might disagree with you—and that’s totally okay. In order for them to have the chance to change their mind about porn, they need to know how to educate themselves on the proven harms and make an informed decision. Refer them to the research, which shows just how harmful porn can be. And if you want to test your knowledge to make sure you’re up to date on some of the most common questions our Fighters get, click here.

Focus on research and facts.

Try to help the person you’re talking to understand the research, which shows just how harmful porn can be. Using specific examples of research can be especially helpful to them as they try to see your perspective.

Be kind.

Humanize the other person, in your mind, and speak to them as an equal. People are much more likely to consider your perspective when you are respectful and kind. Generally, insulting someone is not an effective way to get them to agree with you or desire to understand your perspective. So whether in-person or online, maintaining a respectful tone is key to civil discourse.

Validate their feelings and experiences.

Saying things like “I see where you’re coming from” or “I’ve never thought of it that way before” can really help the other person feel understood. In this movement for love, we want to spread the movement while also spreading love and empathy, so how we talk to strangers about this does matter. See what it means to be a Fighter and join the movement for love.

Ask questions.

Asking genuine questions will not only give them the opportunity to evaluate their own perspective, but it will give you insight into the way they think as well. This will also help them feel safe enough to ask you questions! For quick answers to the most commonly asked questions our Fighters get, click here!

Understand porn's negative impacts.

Using specific, research-based examples of how porn can be harmful will be your best bet in helping your new friend understand your perspective. There are so many ways that porn can negatively impact us, so take the time you need to familiarize yourself with the research which shows that. And if you want to test your knowledge to make sure you’re up to date on some of the most common questions our Fighters get, click here.

Know about available resources.

In addition to being educated on the harms of pornography, we also want you to be educated on the resources available to those who have been hurt by pornography. For those looking to quit porn, we highly recommend Fortify, which is a free, online, video-based recovery resource. Similarly, there are resources for the partners of those who are struggling with porn. And as always, there are hundreds and hundreds of articles on our website that can help answer any other questions you may have!

What Not To Do

Don't panic.

If you get up the courage to rep your Fighter gear while out and about—or post pics online—only to be approached by someone who disagrees with the message, that’s okay. Try not to be anxious, take a deep breath, and choose what way you want to engage with their comments or questions. What are your go-to fact points that you feel comfortable talking about? Play your strengths, and try your best to steer the conversation in that direction, and/or ask if they’ve considered the wide field of research that shows how porn can harm the consumer, relationships, and/or society. Having thought-provoking questions ready for them instead of only rapid-firing stats and article links, if you’re online, could help turn the conversation into a dialogue instead of an information battle. Remember, they likely haven’t heard a lot of the available research that points to the proven harmful effects of porn.

Avoid shaming—it won't help.

It can be easy, when we’re hurt or angry, to intentionally or unintentionally shame the person we’re upset with. What does shaming look like, you may be asking? It’s like humiliating someone to make them feel like a “bad” person or undeserving of love because of something they’ve said or done or believe. It’s important to keep in mind that shaming someone does not help, and does not push them toward healthy, productive dialogue. Be as positive as you can in your interactions, and even if you don’t agree with their opinions, you can maintain respect for them as an individual.

Try not to be assumptive.

Throughout your discussion, try to avoid being assumptive or making any unfounded accusations about the other person. It’s important to give them the opportunity to tell you what they think and how they feel. Recognize that they’re doing the best they can, just like you are. Their stance on porn doesn’t make them “dumb” or “bad,” it just means that there’s a good conversation in store! For quick answers to the most commonly asked questions our Fighters get, click here.

Avoid making it a moral argument.

Using subjective arguments like “it’s just wrong!” or “it’s evil!” likely won’t help your conversation partner understand or respect your perspective. Using extreme language like this can shame the person you’re talking to, shut them down or make them defensive, and ultimately won’t be productive in your conversation. Pointing them, calmly and kindly, to the research directly will help them understand how porn can be harmful. They might also wonder why this issue is important when there are so many other issues in our world to consider—that’s a fair point. But as research shows, porn and sexual exploitation are pressing public health issues in our society, deserving of attention and awareness.

Don't forget what you're fighting for.

We exist to help raise awareness on the harmful effects of pornography using science, facts, and personal accounts. Even so, we aren’t just a movement fighting against porn and exploitation, we’re fighting for real love! We’re fighting for those who struggle, those who are hurt by porn, and those who are exploited by it. In your discussion, don’t just talk about what you’re against, talk about what you’re for.

Don't belabor the point.

If it seems like there isn’t anything more to discuss, or the conversation has turned past the point of civility, politely part ways by thanking them for their time and consideration. You never know if they might mentally come back to the conversation later, and reconsider something you’ve said—in that case, you’ll want to leave them with as positive and kind of an impression as possible.

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